A Sydney man was arrested by Australian police on Friday on suspicion of being a member of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist organization, according to a joint statement released by the Australian Federal Police and New South Wales Police Force on Saturday.
The man, who remains unnamed, has been charged with the offense of membership of a terrorist organization under 102.3(1) of the Criminal Code. If found guilty, the suspect could be sentenced to 10 years imprisonment.
The arrest follows a seven-month investigation by the NSW Joint Counter Terrorism Team (JCTT). The investigation had reportedly produced evidence that the suspect was posting extremist rhetoric online, had collected a large amount of extremist material and was in possession of several improvised explosive recipes.
Australian Federal Police Commander of Counter Terrorism Investigations Stephen Dametto said:
The actions of this man do not represent the Islamic faith. His actions are criminal and they represent hatred and terror. … We will allege in court that this man was a member of ISIS and it shows there are still those in the community that seek to do us harm. The items found show that this individual posed a significant risk to the Australian community and we will act early to ensure safety of the Australian people. … This investigation shows that the influence of IS remains an enduring threat and it maintains the ability to inspire and radicalise individuals in Australia.
The NSW Police Force Counter Terrorism and Special Tactics Commander, Acting Assistant Commissioner Michael McLean, praised the work of the JCTT, commenting that “Yesterday’s arrest is a great example of the strength of the partnerships and collaboration in Australia’s counter terrorism framework.” The JCTT is comprised of members from the Australian Federal Police, NSW Police Force, Australian Security Intelligence Organisation and the NSW Crime Commission.
The suspect was scheduled to appear before the Parramatta Local Court on Saturday.